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AluYb8 insertion in the WNK1 gene is not associated with hypertension in a Russian Caucasian population

Author(s): Elmira Akhmedova, Svetlana Y. Nikulina, Alla B. Salmina, Anna Chernova, Marina Bazanova, Anna Ohapkina, Aleksey Semenchukov, Paolo E. Maltese, Elena Manara and Matteo Bertelli

WNK1 (With No-lysine Kinase 1), a serine-threonine kinase, regulates blood pressure by acting on various sodium transport-related ion channels. Several studies report a link between common variants of the WNK1 gene and hypertension. No data exists on Russian populations. Our aim was to evaluate the association between the WNK1 AluYb8 polymorphism and hypertension susceptibility in a Russian Caucasian population. A total of 66 patients with arterial hypertension and 40 controls were screened by polymerase chain reaction. We evaluated the genotype distribution in the patient and control groups using a chi-square test and assessed the relationship between genotypes and hypertension. This preliminary study on a small number of individuals suggests the absence of any association between the AluYb8 polymorphism and increased blood pressure. The polymorphism therefore does not increase the risk of hypertension, and in our cohort, is not a major contributor to blood pressure variability. It is therefore not useful for evaluating predisposition to hypertension, at least in the Krasnoyarsk region